As I wrote this week in the Weekly Standard, the uncontroversial umbilical cord blood stem cell bill is ready to be passed. Senator Frist has unanimous consent among Republicans to get it to the floor for a vote, but one or more unnamed Democrat senators are obstructing. According to the National Journal, it may be Senator Diane Feinstein. From the Journal, byline Neal Munro:
“But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told National Journal earlier this fall that she would oppose the passage of the umbilical-cord bill until the Senate approves legislation boosting federal research on embryo stem cells. Her worry, she said, was that President Bush would sign the umbilical-cord bill “with a big hoopla and say, ‘We’ve done our job,'”thus diminishing the chances for passage of the far more controversial embryonic-stem-cell bill.
“Moments later, Feinstein revised her comments, saying she would support the passage of the umbilical-cord bill this year if the Senate agreed to debate the embryonic stem cell bill early next year. “I don’t think we should hold up the cord-blood bill,” she said.”
As I wrote, Frist has already agreed to allow the ESCR bill for a vote early next year. And as I wrote, the problem getting the bill out is on the Democrats side. If not Di Fi, who? Senator Reid, we are waiting for your leadership.